Is it rumored that Apple will be going back to chiclet keyboards?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zeppo2, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. zeppo2 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I was talking to a web developer about buying a new laptop and he said Apple is going back to chiclet keys. But I don't know where he heard this. Maybe he was just hearing what others speculated based on the difficulties involved if you get a stuck butterfly key from dust fragments.

    But given the name of this website, I figured this is the place to ask.

    Thanks
     
  2. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

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    #2
  3. aevan macrumors 68040

    aevan

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    #3
    There are substantial rumors that the next redesign will return to pre-butterfly style scissor keyboards. The change will mostly likely start with some of the models by the end of this year. Rumors range from the new Air or the 16" MBP as the first Mac to have this new keyboard.
     
  4. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

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    #4
    You picked the right place to ask. :D

    Yes, it is a rumor that has been floating around. I am highly skeptical of it because I can't remember a time in Apple's history that they moved on to a new design of something only to return to a previous design... or one that resembled the previous design.

    If anything, I think they might simply revert back to the older key mechanism (scissor) but keep the same keycaps and keyboard profile (flush with the keyboard deck).
     
  5. zeppo2 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 4, 2010
    #5
    thanks for the replies. Good to keep in mind then. I have a mid-2014 13" macbook pro and and late-2009 imac and I also will use a microsoft Sculpt ergonomic keyboard when I'm doing a lot of typing. I have no complaints about any of these, so I would be happy if they went back to it after hearing about the expense involved if you have issues with the butterfly keyboard and how a tiny dust fragment can cause problems with key action.
     
  6. morze macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Mac Pro is a good example of a return!
     
  7. aevan macrumors 68040

    aevan

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    #7
    It will most likely be a new design, at least in visual terms - but the tech behind it will most likely be scissor. Maybe some improved, more stable variant.
     
  8. pshufd macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I heard that they might go with fiberglass keys. One way to tout new, more durable keys.
     
  9. sennomulo macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2018
    #9
    They've got to change something. There are six new MacBooks slated for release soon, probably within the coming months (Apple registered 7 model numbers with the Eurasian Economic Commission, and we've already seen one come out). New model numbers mean substantive physical changes to the device. My hope is that Apple is in a hurry to move to the next phase of their 4-year chassis redesign cycle and introduce the new MBPs (and other MacBooks) with scissor mechanism keyboards. I hope that they won't release six more devices that they have to add to a keyboard replacement program as soon as they're released. Because that would be ludicrous. I wouldn't put it past Apple at this point, but it would be ludicrous.

    Apple really appears to have painted themselves into a corner with this butterfly keyboard design. Even if this 2019 revision addresses the issues for the most part, they had to add the new models to the keyboard replacement program to give buyers any sort of confidence when buying the device. Because they won't tell us what they think the issue is and what they think the changes do to address them. We have no idea if the latest generation of butterfly keyboard is really any better than the last. After so many iterations of the keyboard that have failed to address the underlying issues, people are left with the impression that the butterfly keyboard is just an inherently flawed design.

    It's an issue that crops up in any semi-honest review of the device. Even people like me who love their MacBook Pros have to include that asterisk about the shoddy keyboard. How long is Apple really going to put up with that? I'm not upgrading my device until I can feel confident that the keyboard, a massively important part of the user experience, will reliably register one single keystroke every time I press a key. And I know I'm not alone. It's really not a lot to ask for. If Apple can give us the best speakers and trackpad in the industry, they can include a functional keyboard, and they'd be fools not to put tons of R&D into making sure that is the case with these upcoming redesigned MacBooks.
     
  10. DougFNJ macrumors 65816

    DougFNJ

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    #10
    Originally they were saying it would be slated for the MacBook Air. The update to the Air happened but went with the 2019 Butterfly key design. My guess would be if they are going to change the keyboard, it will be in the 16 inch that is rumored to be in the works. Once that model releases, I'm guessing the 13" will follow, and the 15" will go away. Sounds like they will be getting rid of bezels.

    It's not expected to be the same chiclet keyboard. My guess is it will have a little more travel than the butterfly design, but less travel than the 2015. Should be a nice compromise for those that like either one.
     
  11. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

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    #11
    They already immediately placed the new model on the keyboard replacement program on the day it was announced. That line has already been crossed.

    And given that, people are still buying these Macbooks and those people are still claiming that only a very small number of customers are affected.

    As long as those two things continue, Apple has no incentive to work aggressively to fix the problem. They're going along with their product plans and if they can do something to fix the keyboard problem that doesn't interfere with those plans, then they'll do it... if not, business as usual.
     
  12. morze macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I feel it's hurting their image. There was a certain level of reassurance when purchasing a Macbook Pro, you were getting one of the best laptops out there.

    They have to claim it's a very small percentage, in no way will they say a significant volume of keyboards are affected. A lot of reports and information spread like wildfire on the internet and all it takes is a simple google search. It doesn't take long for someone to second guess their purchase decision making. I certainly am not going to purchase one until they change it.

    I can image the headlines. "New 16" Macbook Pro, with same problematic keyboard".
     
  13. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

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    #13
    Just glue the damn Magic Keyboard on the MacBooks. That keyboard is the best
     
  14. sennomulo macrumors member

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    #14
    Yes, but they can't really continue doing that indefinitely.

    But if in reality it's not an insignficant number of users, then this has got to be an expensive program for Apple to maintain. Surely they'd want out, if only for their own financial self-interest. Individual users may be willing to put up with shoddy keyboards, or may be unaware of the program, but IT departments aren't. They've got to be sending in computers left and right for repair. Apple's probably got to keep backstock of top cases just to maintain the repair program. And while hardcore Apple fans might be willing to minimize and rationalize, the average consumer reading headlines and looking at reviews is going to be put off by the reports of shoddy keyboards.

    I just can't imagine how it's profitable for them to continue with the butterfly design at this point. The only reasonable course of action is a total redesign. They have to test it thoroughly first, and they're probably constrained by internal roadmaps (they only do major changes to the MBP chassis once every four years), but they've had enough time to get things sorted out. We're at the point where there are no more excuses. If this redesign still includes a butterfly keyboard, it will be a PR disaster for Apple, but if they can do the bare minimum and install a functional keyboard that doesn't require a special warranty, it will be a PR win.
     
  15. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #15
    At this point it's "only a rumor", but I sense that it's a pretty reliable one.

    It's taken Apple the better part of 4 years to realize the mistake they made with the 2016-design "new" keyboards, but in time reality must sink in... even to the hubris of Apple.

    I predict the 2020 keyboard will be an "old-new" design -- the "core" of the earlier ("scissors"?) keyboard, with some design changes that will make it more-resemble the 2016-design keyboard's appearance.

    Hopefully, the changes they make "underneath" won't mess this one up, too! ;)
     

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14 July 16, 2019